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  • Counter offer guide

  • How to handle the counter offer
    It is becoming increasingly common for employers to make promises of increased remuneration to employees
    who may wish to tender their resignation. Such counter offers may be tempting and even flattering, but their potential pitfalls require careful consideration.


    The impact of accepting a counter offer
    Accepting a counter-offer will have an impact not only upon your current position, but also on the prospective employer offering you the new opportunity. The hiring organisation has also invested time and money recruiting you. Consider what that organisation may think if you withdraw your promise or intention to join them?

    Don’t look back, look forward
    Finally, ask yourself, why should you have to tender your resignation before you receive a raise, a promotion or improved working conditions? Your career will take many twists and turns, and you never know how a decision taken today will affect you in the future. Do not look back once you make your decision to leave. Instead, look forward and embrace the new opportunity that awaits you. If you would like to discuss these points in detail, then please don't hesitate to contact us.

    10 questions to ask yourself

    1. Will it increase your chances of leaving?
    2. Will it question your loyalty?
    3. Will it address any non-financial issues?
    4. Will it increase your chances of being made redundant?
    5. Will it put a freeze on your future salary increases?
    6. Will it buy your employer time to recruit your replacement?
    7. Will it increase your profile in a positive way?
    8. Why would your employer make the counter offer?
    9. Should the counter-offer not have been prevented in the first instance?
    10. What impression will it leave on the hiring organisation?

    Your questions answered:

    1. Will it increase your chances of leaving?  Yes.
    If the lack of financial reward or the lack of feeling valued were the root causes of your discontentment, then accepting a counter-offer could be an ideal solution for you… but it does come with a degree of risk:

    Our research suggests that if you accept a counter-offer, the probability of voluntarily leaving your job within 6 months of acceptance is as high as 72% because of unfulfilled promises. A high proportion of the remainder of employees subsequently have their contracts terminated within 12 months of acceptance.

    2. Will it question your loyalty?  Yes.
    If you accept the counter-offer, your loyalty will always be in question and this could work against you should a promotional opportunity arise.
                                       
    3. Will it address any non-financial issues? No.
    You may be motivated to seek new opportunities for non-financial reasons. Accepting a counter-offer will generally not address such issues and once the initial heightened appreciation shown by your current employer, coupled with the satisfaction of an increased remuneration package has faded, you are still likely to be faced with those previous unresolved non-financial issues.

    This in turn will lead to continued dissatisfaction in the workplace, and unless resolved, will eventually bring you full circle to searching for another opportunity. You may have gained a slightly improved remuneration package, but at the cost of progressing your career at an earlier opportunity.

    4. Will it increase your chances of being made redundant? Yes.
    During a downturn in business, there is an increased threat of redundancies. Your employer may consider shortlists based upon intensive consideration of business areas such as cost, profit and employee performance. Statistics reveal that there is an increased risk of being included in such shortlists by accepting the counter-offer as your loyalty has become questionable.

    5. Will it put a freeze on your future salary increases? Yes.
    If a salary increase is offered, you may want to consider how the budget for it has been approved. Most companies have rigid annual budgets and unless there are surplus funds available, you may find that the budget may have been released from the following year in the form of an advance against your annual salary rise. This could therefore lead to disappointment at your next annual salary review.

    6. Will it buy your employer time to recruit your replacement? Yes.
    Companies are acutely aware of the high attrition rates following an acceptance of a counter-offer. Therefore, despite making the offer, they will in most instances embark on a recruitment drive for your possible replacement. The counter-offer serves to buy the company some time to ensure continuity within your job role. Furthermore, the salary on offer may be an improvement upon the salary you received prior to the counter-offer.

    7. Will it increase your profile in a positive way? No.
    In addition to the counter-offer, you may find yourself invited to discuss your future career aspirations with your line manager and/or their chain of command right up to CEO. This may raise your profile temporarily, but not necessarily in a positive way.
        
                                                             
    8. Why would your employer make the counter offer?
    It is worth remembering that companies use various strategies to entice you to stay. After all, they have invested time and money into your commercial development and want to reap the rewards of their investment. At the same time, they will attempt to minimise the costs associated in finding a replacement. Needless to say, it is generally cost beneficial for them therefore to make the counter-offer.

    9. Should the counter-offer not have been prevented in the first instance? Yes.
    Should a counter-offer make you feel special or does it confirm that if your employer appreciated and valued you in the first instance, the process of regularly scheduled developmental reviews and salary raises on merit would have prevented such a situation?

    10. What impression will it leave on the hiring organisation? Negative.
    Accepting a counter-offer will have an impact not only upon your current position, but also on the prospective employer offering you the new opportunity. The hiring organisation has also invested time and money recruiting you. Consider what that organisation may think if you withdraw your promise to join them?

    Back to Career Advice

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